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Mazda 626 Troubles

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Comments

  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    Sorry to hear about the problems you've had. However, based on many objective measures, the 626 family has a long history of reliability.

    As to the Camry being "like a dream", well, it is 4 years newer than your 626!!! You might have come away with the same impression had the dealer given you a '99 626.

    Anyway, best of luck with whatever you buy...
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    check out the "engine sludge" thread before you buy a Toyota. I had an 01 Sienna that I hated. That thing buzzed, popped, clicked, rattled, and thumped like an old Dodge Caravan. I never got better than 17+mpg in town on premium fuel (per the book). Had it 19 months and never spent a day not looking for the latest rattle. On top of that, I worried about the sludge problem enough to feel the need to have the dealer do all the oil changes every 3k miles just so I'd have proof the job was done and on record. It meant cooling my heals at the Toyota dealership every few months waiting 1-2 hours for their slow oil changes. What a disappointment.
  • Dear All,

    I have a four-cylinder 626 from 95 with ~ 79K miles, auto-tranny. I bought it used with 68K a year ago, and it has had quite a bit of stuff fixed/changed (timming belt, CV joints/boots, breaks all around, radiator hose that cracked). Although I have spent some money on it, it is a reliable car, and my wife really depends on it. Furthermore, if I can get as many miles from this one as I did from my previous Mazda (a GLC that I sold with 170K on it and still running strong...), I'll be a happy man.

    A couple of days ago, the CEL light came on for a minute, and then it went out (the light...). My wife drove it for a couple of days, and she tells me that the light hasn't light up for her. However, I got on the car again today, and I figured out when the CEL lights up. If I punch the gas (get it to ~ 3000 - 3500 RPMs, which is something my wife does not do...), the CEL comes on, and then it goes off. I have read some of the messages in the board, and saw that a lot of people had this happening, and that most of the times it's the O2 sensors or the air sensor/meter. Why when you punch the gas??? Anyway, it's fairly DIY, so it this is it, I'll do it this weekend.

    Also, how often does the cooling fan goes on? I cannot remember how often it did last summer, but I think that the thing now goes on a lot more frequently than before (i.e., one out of two times you are in a traffic light, while parking, etc.). Is this normal and I just forgot, or is something getting clogged and the fan has to work overtime due to this. By the way, the engine temperature is fine (rock-solid slightly below 1/2 of the gauge).

    Many thanks in advance,

    Guillermo
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    The fans come on when the radiator gets hot enough to trigger the thermostatic switch OR you have the A/C on. Having the A/C on would include Defrost of course. Keep that in mind when doing your comparison to last year.

    CEL: Dunno about that one other than the fact that a car runs rich when you floor the accelerator and the exhaust temp goes down. It may just be the sudden change in exhaust temp that's getting to your O2 sensor.
  • In the case the Maltster describes, the sensor is likely running out of its prescribed range for a brief period; eventually, electrical devices in this environment being what they are, it will be out of range most of the time and the light will stay on more often. I wouldn't worry about it until it does.
  • Thanks for the explanation on the CEL/fans. Now, I think I DO have to do a tune-up on the thing, as I have a relatively rough idle, some knocking on acceleration, etc., etc. Someone said that this may have caused poissoning of the O2 sensors (unburnt fuel getting to them). Does this sound right? I am meaning to get the codes from the ECU out, but my mechanic can't do it until next week...

    Guillermo
  • This is theoretically possible. Of course, you have to fix what's producing the, um, toxins before you replace the sensors, or you'll be replacing a lot of sensors. Pulling the codes will help.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    My son had a problem, and all they did was clean the Mass Air Flow Sensor and the CEL went away. It's been a year now. This had to be done after changing the O2 sensors. A Mazda or Contour specialist knows the procedure.

    Unfortunately Oxygen sensors are a regular maintenence Item. buyoxygensensors.com has great prices for these.
  • Well, after reading your suggestions and doing some additional 'research', I decided on the the following plan:

    1) Try to get the ECU codes.
    2) Tune-up the thing. Change wires, plugs, etc. This may fix the somewhat rough (low RPM) idle.
    3) See if that takes care of the CEL, and if it does not, change sensors according to results from (1).

    Also, forgot to mention. My car has a known 626 problem, which is oil in the spark-plug wells (the left one looking at the car). This is probably due to the fact that when the timming belt was replaced the mechanic had to re-install it (the timming was off the first time around), and he probably worked 'fast' on it. I heard that tightening the valve cover bolts sometimes helps. I did noticed that the connectors of the plug wires are a little cracked, which is an obvious results of being soaked in hot oil...

    Does this sound reasonable? Any other suggestions on the matter will be greately appreciated.

    Guillermo
  • The car has 88700 miles on it. Ran fine after I bought it at 88K miles. Then suddenly the CEL light came on and the engine started to idle erratically. I live at 7000 ft above sea level and the car spent the initial 88K miles down at sea level, could this be causing this problem? The CEL light now stays on and sometimes blinks. Any help will be appreciated.
  • anc637anc637 Posts: 2
    I just bought a used 1996 Mazda 626 LX, last month. It has about 71k miles and an AUTO transmission. A couple of weeks ago, i noticed that there are some clicking noises somewhere in the front of the car...i can't figure out what it is, does anyone have this same problem??? I just need to know what the heck is wrong with it before i get it checked in and not look all stupid about it! Ohh...and to anyone who has this car...how's your cars gas mileage...i get about 20 mpg/25 mpg on mine...is there anything wrong with this????
  • anc637anc637 Posts: 2
    after reading most of the entries here...now i am scared of having to pay for a new transmission...i am only a college student, i don't think i can afford a new transmission..or even an old one! i should have just stayed with my Honda Civic...at least that one, i had never had any problems with! Now i think trading in my Civic for this 626 was a mistake! Hmm..another thing that i realized is that my 626 does have that IDLE problem most of you are having, especially at stop lights!
  • With the four and the auto, the nominal US figure is 23 mpg (31 highway). (The larger '98-'02 version is rated 22/28.) My own experience with the '93 was 24/30; I'd expect I'd have done the same with a '96.

    As for clicking, if it's something you hear on a turn, it's a CV joint complaining.
  • Sounds sensible so far, though watch it with those valve-cover bolts; you're dealing with aluminum, and overtorquing can shred it.
  • It's having trouble adjusting for the comparative lack of air up there. Something (the codes should tell you) needs to be tweaked or replaced.

    [Insert oxygen sensor joke here]

    To a certain extent, cars today do seem to get used to their environments, and being taken someplace new requires a whole new learning curve.
  • I have to thank all those who sent commnets and suggestions.

    Thanks to windowphobe for reminding me not to overtorque the cam cover. Since I did not have a torque wrench, I did not do it. Also, I think that I will need a new cam gasket, because I DON'T KNOW IF THERE IS ONE THERE! I think that they 'made' it on the spot with silicon sealant...

    In any case, I wanted to do something 'manly' over the weekend, and despite I had no scanner to pull the codes, I went ahead an changed wires and plugs (I used Bosch $45 cables and Bosch platinum plugs - are these OK?). When getting one of the plugs out, I noticed that there was a little chunk of silicone sealant (left there by the mechanic, se above...) which was preventing the wire boot to go down all the way. Apparently, that, and the slight warming up in Philly in the last week, caused a misfire or two, which is probably why the CEL was flaring up.

    Runs better, although I still haven't tunned it with the strobe-light. In any case, I haven't seen the CEL in three days...

    G.
  • In my last post, a question ended up hidden among piles of sensless babble, so here it goes again...

    Are BOSCH 'Premium' cables and 'platinum' spark-plugs OK for the 626? I got them last weekend and installed them, but they do look a bit flimsy...

    Thanks!
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Bosch wires are generally good quality. Bosch Platinums plugs on the other hand are useless junk, IMO.

    It's hard to go wrong with NGK plugs and wires, but just leave what you have alone as long as they are working.
  • Well, this is a real pain. Over the last 10 days I have pretty much changed everything considered 'maintenance items' after 78K miles: plugs, cables, PCV valve, air filter. If you remember earlier postings, I mentioned my CEL not flaring up after that. Well, today I punched the gas to pass a bus, and it reared its ugly head again. 20 seconds and it was gone. Now comes a question for which I wish the answer is "NO": Can the CEL in a 1995 2.0L 4cyl ATX 626 indicate a problem with the tranny? I do have the crappy Ford tranny (to find out you just need to pull the tranny fluid level dip-stick and read...), so I'm prepared for the worst...

    Guillermo
  • When the CD4E acts up, it generally flashes the O/D Off light, not the CEL/MIL.
  • drolendrolen Posts: 3
    I have a 1998 626.

    When the A/C or fan is turned on the cars idles up and down. It drops a few hundred rpms at Idle or about 1500 RPMs if you idle it up to about 3K. This happens setting still or driving at any speed.
    The drag is enough to kill the engine at low speeds or while shifting.

    Also, I have noticed a waver in the idle even without the fan or A/C on.

    There is no other noticeable problem with the running, acceleration, so on.

    Certainly one of you smart guy mechanics can recognize the problem and help me out here.

    The plugs, plug wires, fuel filter, and pcv valve were just replaced. I also disconnected the negative battery terminal to reset the computer memory stuff and the problem has still not changed a bit.

    thanks
    david
  • Thanks to windowphobe for the info on the tranny. I'll look for a crazy O/D off light...

    Now I have yet another question. I still havent had time to get the ECU codes, but found several pages on the web that describe how to fish them out from OBD-I systems on 626's and Probe's. So I set out to do my weekend's 'manly' activities, opened the hood, was happy to find out that my connector is indeed an OBD-I connector, got the paper clip ready to plug TEN and GND and then look at my flashing CEL light and ... there's no metal in the TEN contact point, only the GND, B+, etc., have metal contact points! What the heck is this? Is it this the way they force your butt into a dealer to cough up $80 to get the damned codes? I am so pissed - So close, but no cigar, and still wondering what my error codes are. If anyone has a way around this without the need for a $250 scan tool I'll appreciate it...

    Guillermo
  • th83th83 Posts: 164
    My cousin has a '98 LX with about 65k miles on it and the transmission has begun to act up lately. It shifts really rough and it vibrates a lot at idle. All maintenance has been done including the tranny fluid change. Is his transmission due for replacement this early?
  • OK, this is getting more complicated than I thought. As you are all probably aware, I have been trying to get the codes from my 95 2.0 4cyl ATX 626. So I took it to a Jiffy Lube with the Auto X-Ray scanner, and we could not find the connector. The kid in the Jiffy Lube was helpful, but not very experienced (I went there late at night and all the 'old' guys were gone). I can see a connector in the engine compartment, but I cannot find the one that 'should' be under the dashboard (if this is an OBD-II compliant model as the Chilton manual says...).

    Any clues?

    Thanks!
  • All four-cylinder cars from model year 1994 on.
  • Somehow I seem to remember that this is the one year you have to pull a SPOUT connector down in the general vicinity of the distributor.
  • windowphobe: I would have taken the whole dashboard appart before even looking there, thanks! I'll let you know if you are right (I bet you are...).

    G.
  • moreiraamoreiraa Posts: 1
    Well my car has the HOLD and the O/D Off Ligh blinking all day long and the transmission starts on third.
    If I want to fix this problem what do I have to buy, where and how much is it?
    As far as I read probably this problem is because two possible problems:
    1.- transmission(buy a rebuild one), or
    2.- engine relay in the fuse box, reporting to the computer that the car was in gear.
    If is the 2nd case how do I repair it.
    THANKS
    Alcindo
  • Or it could be the range sensor itself, mounted on the transmission; these have been known to act screwy. (The possibility exists that the computer itself is acting up, but this is uncommon.)

    Engine relays are not repaired: you pull out the old one and push the new one into place.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I am not sure about this, but I doubt the OBD II diagnostic port is under the hood. I used to be work at J-Lube and I have never seen a OBD II port that wasn't somewhere in the car's interior. Every single car I've ever seen had the port under the dashboard somewhere. With that said, they still can be tricky to find. FWIW, the OBD II port on my Protege is under the dashboard. An easy way to check if your car is in fact OBD II compliant is to look at the catalyst sticker under the hood.
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